|Publication number||US6176456 B1|
|Application number||US 09/189,525|
|Publication date||Jan 23, 2001|
|Filing date||Nov 10, 1998|
|Priority date||Nov 10, 1998|
|Also published as||CA2349305A1, CA2349305C, DE69937005D1, DE69937005T2, EP1156730A1, EP1156730A4, EP1156730B1, WO2000027253A1|
|Publication number||09189525, 189525, US 6176456 B1, US 6176456B1, US-B1-6176456, US6176456 B1, US6176456B1|
|Inventors||Michael G. Wisniewski|
|Original Assignee||Weber Knapp Company|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (11), Referenced by (43), Classifications (8), Legal Events (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
It is well known to provide a support mechanism including a four bar or parrallelogram linkage to support an art device, such as a keyboard, for vertically swinging movement relative to a base, such as a wall, desk top or table top, between lower and upper use positions; and a locking device to releasably retain the art device in a desired position. Typically, the linkage includes upper and lower links, a first end link for mounting a keyboard support, a second end link fixed to the base and pivot connections for pivotally connecting the ends of the links for pivotal movement about four parallel pivot axes; and the locking device includes a pair of cooperating members carried by the links.
In a commonly assigned patent application entitled KEYBOARD MOUNTING MECHANISM and filed Nov. 5, 1998, there is disclosed an improved mechanism, wherein a parallelogram linkage is pivotally mounting by one of its pivot connections on a separate base mounting member, and a locking device includes members carried by the linkage and mounting member.
The present convention is directed to an improved keyboard support mechanism in which a three-bar linkage is employed in place of a conventional four-bar linkage for mounting a keyboard support for vertical swinging movement relative to a base in combination with a locking mechanism releasable for permitting vertical movement of the keyboard support upon the application of a lifting force thereto.
The nature and mode of operation of the present invention will-now be more fully described in the following detailed description taken with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a keyboard support mechanism of the present invention while disposed in a lower use position;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of a keyboard support mechanism of the present invention while disposed in upper use position;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken generally along the line 3—3 in FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken generally along the line 4—4 in FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken generally along the line 5—5 in FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken generally along the line 6—6 in FIG. 4, but showing the mechanism swung upwardly into its upper use position of FIG. 2; and
FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken generally along the line 7—7 in FIG. 4, but showing the mechanism in an intermediate position.
Reference is first made to FIGS. 1 and 2, wherein a keyboard supporting mechanism of the present invention is generally designated as 10 and shown as including a mounting member 12 adapted to be fixed to a base, such as a table or desk top or other work surface shown in broken line as 14; and a three bar linkage 16 having a first or front end 16 a for mounting a keyboard support shown in broken line at 18 and a second or rear end 16 b connected to mounting member 12 for permitting vertical swinging movement of the three bar linkage and thus keyboard support relative to the mounting member between lowermost and uppermost use positions shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, respectively.
Mounting member 12 is shown as being in the form of an inverted U-shaped bracket having side walls 20,20 and a connecting top wall 22. As is conventional, top wall 22 may be suspended below base 14 by an intermediate bracket 24 for pivotal movement about a vertically disposed axis or for both pivotal movement and sliding movement normal to the base front edge 14 a by a base affixed guide track, which is generally designated at 28 and enclosed at its front end with a track guard 28 a. Alternatively, top wall 22 may be non-movably fixed directly to the lower surface of base 14.
Bracket side walls 20,20 are formed with aligned bore openings 20 a,20 a, and inturned flanges 20 b,20 b, which serve to define aligned and rearwardly facing, abutment surfaces 20 c,20 c. Bracket top wall 22 is provided with a downwardly facing surface 22 b.
Three bar linkage 16 is shown as including an inverted U-shaped upper or first link 30; a pair of lower or second links 32,32; a first end or third link 34 adapted to be suitably fixed to keyboard support 18; and first, second and third pivot connections 38, 40 and 42, respectively, serving to pivotally interconnect the links for relative pivotal or swinging movement about parallel axes. As will be apparent, a pair of links may replace upper link 30, and a single link may replace the pair of lower links 32, 32.
Upper link 30 has a connecting flange 30 a defining a lower abutment surface 30 b; and a pair of parallel side wall flanges 30 c,30 c, which are formed adjacent linkage first end 16 a with a pair of aligned bore openings 30 d,30 d and adjacent linkage second end with a pair of aligned bore openings 30 e,30 e. Lower links 32,32 are formed adjacent linkage first end 16 a with a pair of aligned bore openings 32 a,32 a; and adjacent linkage second end 16 b with pairs of aligned bearing openings 32 f,32 f, which define bearing surfaces 32 c,32 c and end abutment surfaces 32 d,32 d; downwardly projecting abutment fingers 32 e,32 e; and curved edge surfaces 32 f,32 f.
First end link 34 is shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 as having a pair of generally L-shaped side wall flanges 34 a, 34 a formed with a pair of upper, aligned bore openings 34 b, 34 b and a pair of lower, aligned bore openings 34 c,34 c; and a connecting flange 34 d. Side wall flanges 34 a,34 a are provided with mounting openings, not shown, for attachment of support 18. Alternatively, first end link 34 may be employed solely to pivotally couple upper link 30 to lower links 32, and a separate intermediate link, not shown, employed to couple support 18 to pivot connections 38 and 42 in order to permit adjustable negative and positive tilting movements of the support relative to linkage first end 16 a, as disclosed in above-mentioned commonly-assigned patent application whose disclosure is incorporated herein by reference. The term negative tilt means tilting of support 18 away from an operator or clockwise of linkage end 16 a, as viewed in FIG. 1, and positive tilt means tilting towards the operator.
First pivot connection 38 is preferably defined by fitting a first pivot pin 38 a within bore openings 30 d,30 d and 34 b,34 b. Second pivot connection 40 is preferably defined by fitting a second pivot pin 40 a within bore openings 20 a,20 a and 30 e,30 e and third pivot connection 42 is preferably defined by fitting a third pivot pin 42 a within bore openings 32 a,32 a and 34 c,34 c. Second pivot pin 40 a is also arranged to pass through bearing openings 32 f,32 f.
While one or more of pivot pins 38 a, 40 a and 42 a may be replaced by pairs of short, axially aligned stub pivot shafts, it is preferable to employ the illustrated elongated, pivot pin arrangement in view of strength considerations, and for the case of second pivot pin 40 a to provide means for mounting a coil spring 50 having opposite ends 50 a and 50 b arranged to bear on mounting member surface 22 b and upper link lower surface 30 b, respectively. Spring 50 may be employed to counterbalance a portion of the weight of linkage 16 and support 18 in order to facilitate lifting of the support by an operator.
Mechanism 10 additionally includes a locking device 60, which is adapted to lock support 18 in a desired use position under the influence of gravity and to be released or unlocked to permit downward movement of the support by the application of a manual lifting force to the support.
In the presently preferred construction, bearing surfaces 32 c,32 c are downwardly facing, concave surfaces arranged for sliding movement transversely of and pivotal movement about pivot pin 40 a; and locking device includes a first locking surface defined by above mentioned upwardly facing convex link surfaces 32 f, 32 f, hereinafter locking surfaces 32 f, 32 f; and a second locking surface defined by above mentioned planar and downwardly facing mounting member surface 22 b hereinafter locking surface 22 b. Preferably, bearing surfaces 32 c,32 c and locking surfaces 32 f,32 f are concentric and arranged relative to locking surface 22 b, so as to enable the present three-bar linkage to function as a parallelogram linkage, wherein the whole of linkage swings about single pivot 40 a and support 18 is disposed in essentially constant attitude, which is preferably horizontal, in all of its vertically spaced use positions. Specifically, this may be achieved by an arrangement shown in FIG. 7, wherein the center of pivot pin 40 a; bearing surfaces 32 c,32 c; and locking surfaces 32 f,32 f are spaced through distances R1, R2 and R3 from a given center of curvature C. The placement of center of curvature C corresponds to that of a fourth pivot axis of a parallelogram linkage, which would be formed by adding a fourth link, not shown, to the three-bar linkage defined by first link 30, second link 32, and first end link 34, that is, a four-bar linkage where the length of second link 32, as measured between the axis of pivot pin 42 a and the axis of such fourth pivot pin, is equal to the length of first link 30, as measured between the axes of pivot pins 38 a and 40 a, and the length of such fourth link, as measured between the axes of pivot pin 40 a and such four pivot pin, is equal to the length of first end link 34, as measured between the axes of first pivot pin 38 a and third pivot pin 42 a. Having established the value of R1, the value of R2 can be determined by selection of the diameter of pivot pin 40 a. For a given set of values of the distances between the axis of second pivot pin 40 a and surface locking 22 b, and between the axis of the second pivot pin and center of curvature C, the value of R3 may be selected on a trial and error basis, so as to cause support 18 to assume an essentially horizontal attitude in its various use positions. For smaller values of R3, support 18 would be forced to assume a positive tilt, and for larger values of R3, the support would be forced to assume a negative tilt. It is contemplated that the above values may be made larger and smaller and the above surfaces changed in a multitude of ways in order to provide desired constant or variable orientations of support 18 in its lower and upper use positions, as well as all positions therebetween.
To facilitate description of the operation of mechanism 10, as thus far described, it will be assumed that keyboard support 18 resides in its above described lowermost use position shown in FIG. 1. In this position, the right hand end of locking surfaces 32 f,32 f engage with locking surface 22 b; the right hand end of bearing surfaces 32 c,32 c and end abutment surfaces 32 d,32 d engage with second pivot pin 40 a; and the upper surface of support 18 lies essentially horizontal. Two possible modes of operation are presented for purposes of moving support 18 upwardly into a selected use position, namely, an operator may grip and lift the support while maintaining same in its original horizontal orientation, or an operator may simply lift the support, while permitting the support to assume a negative tilt, as an incident to which locking surfaces 32 f,32 f are swung away from frictional locking engagement with locking surface 22 b in a direction extending clockwise about a point of engagement of surfaces 32 c,32 c with pivot pin 40 a, as viewed in FIG. 5. The extent of negative tilt may be limited for instance by engagement of the ends of fingers 32 e,32 e with abutment surfaces 20 c,20 c.
In the first mode of operation, the locking surfaces 32 f,32 f slide forwardly across locking surface 22 b and the force of gravity is effective to automatically lock support 18 in any elevated use position whenever the lifting force is removed.
In the second mode of operation, it is necessary for an operator to tilt support 18 forwardly or in a positive sense about the axis of first pivot pin 38 a to again assume its initial horizontal attitude, when a desired use position has been reached and before releasing the lifting force, since lower link locking surfaces are not returned for frictional locking engagement with locking surface 22 b until the support is returned to its initial horizontal attitude. In either mode of operation, the portions of locking surfaces 32 f,32 f presented for contact with locking surface 22 b for locking purposes, and of bearing surfaces 32 c,32 c presented for engagement with pivot pin 40 a, progressively move to the left, or counterclockwise, as sequentially viewed in FIGS. 5, 7 and 6, until the uppermost use position is reached. This latter position may be variously defined, as for example, by engagement of link 30 with track guard 28 a.
When it is desired to move support 18 downwardly into a lower use position, an operator is required to grip the support and then tilt same rearwardly or in the direction of negative tilt sufficiently to remove lower locking surfaces 32 f,32 f from locking engagement with surface 22 b, lower the support to a desired use position, and then tilt the support forwardly to again assume its horizontal attitude in order to effect reengagement of locking surfaces 32 f,32 f with locking surface 22 b.
While the present invention is particularly adapted for mounting a keyboard, it will be understood that it is equally adapted for supporting any other art device, such as a work surface for use as a writing surface, or for supporting a mouse pad, which is desired to be moved vertically between a number of use positions.
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|U.S. Classification||248/281.11, 248/918|
|International Classification||A47B21/00, A47B21/03, G06F1/16|
|Cooperative Classification||Y10S248/918, A47B21/0314|
|Nov 10, 1998||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: WEBER KNAPP COMPANY, NEW YORK
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:WISNIEWSKI, MICHAEL G.;REEL/FRAME:009592/0707
Effective date: 19981109
|Feb 4, 2003||CC||Certificate of correction|
|Apr 7, 2004||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Jul 17, 2008||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|May 22, 2012||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 12